May 27, 2017 created by Chris Yates
Day 5: Albeau Dominates to Move into Commanding Lead Heading into Final Day
The penultimate day of the Catalunya PWA World Cup provided great racing conditions with winds between 10-20 knots blowing for the entire afternoon. At the end of an action packed day a further 4 eliminations have been completed and there was plenty of exhilarating racing on offer with risky overtaking manoeuvres, crashes, epic comebacks and close calls throughout as slalom showed the side of it that everyone loves.
Sailor of the Day
Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) was without doubt the standout sailor of the day – as he so often is – the 23-time world champion produced a scintillating display to claim two, firsts, a second and a fifth to cap an exceptional day which deservedly sends him into a commanding lead at the top of the event rankings with one day to go. Albeau’s never say die attitude was never more prevalent than in Elimination 3 when facing a semifinal exit, but on the final reach Bruno Martini (RRD / Point-7) succumbed to having Albeau breathing down his neck and the Frenchman snatched the last place in the winners’ final, which he duly went on to win. AA is now in an extremely strong position heading into the final day and it’s difficult to see anyone stopping him from here.
Fellow countryman – Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / LoftSails / Chopper Fins) – rises one place into second after enjoying a fine day – with the only blip coming in the third race when he was eliminated in the semifinals. In the race prior, Toselli secured the opening bullet of the day in impressive fashion and he immediately discards the 14th place finish from Elimination 3 after qualifying for every other winners’ final.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins) completes an all French top 3 heading into the final day and the reigning vice-world champion sailed consistently for the majority of the day – recording results of 2nd, 3rd and 4th – with the only blemish coming in race 5 when he suffered a surprise quarterfinal exit, which he discards. Aside from that the 27-year-old hasn’t finished worse than 6th and remains on course for the podium.
Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde) led the event rankings at the start of the day, but slips to 4th at the end of today’s proceedings. The Israeli was firmly in contention in the last race as he entered the first gybe in second, but was then covered on the exit, meaning he had to settle for 6th place.
Reigning world champion – Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses) – has recorded a mixed bag of results so far this week with the Italian only qualifying for two winners’ finals out of the five races completed. However, the 27-year-old is still in 5th place after he dug deep to secure a clinical victory in the final race of the day. Iachino will be hoping that it is possible to complete at least a further two eliminations tomorrow, which would bring the second discard into play and provide him with the opportunity to be one of the biggest movers of the day.
Andrea Cucchi (Starboard / Point-7) currently occupies 6th place, but the Italian was visibly annoyed at himself in race five when he inexplicably dropped his third gybe in the semifinals when in the qualifying positions.
Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses) produced a couple of miraculous comebacks today to earn the worthy title as the comeback King. The Brit flirted with danger in two successive heats in the opening race of the day – quarters and semifinals – and looked to be down and out, but he somehow reeled in his rivals to advance into the winners’ final. The pick of the bunch of his manoeuvres came in the quarterfinals of Race 2 when he jumped from 7th to 4th with a text-book gybe at the last to progress. The 37-year-old is currently in 7th place heading into the final day, but things could’ve been even better had he not suffered a broken boom.
Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Chopper Fins) made a flying start to the day as he chased home Pascal Toselli in the opening race to claim second place, before finishing 7th in the next. Unfortunately after this his day faded somewhat with quarter and semifinal exits, but the 23-year-old remains on course for the top 10 – 8th at the moment.
After a disappointing quarterfinal exit in the opening race of the week – Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) has produced an excellent recovery, which sees the 32-year-old rise to 9th. Questel’s best result came in the third elimination – 5th – and has then produced the consistency needed to challenge for the top 10 with results of 10th, 11th and 12th.
Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails) may have suffered disappointing quarterfinal exits in the opening two races, but since then the German has recovered brilliantly to move into the final place in the top 10. The 26-year-old had looked quick in both South Korea and Japan and things finally clicked into place as he recorded a 4th and two 9th’s in the last 3 eliminations today. Kördel will be another sailor hoping for a further two eliminations as he could potentially then discard and 18.5, which could then open up the possibility of a top 5 finish.
Elsewhere, Ingmar Daldorf (Tabou / GA Sails) showed he has the speed and the talent to compete with the best names in the business after recording a superb second place Elimination 4. If the flying Dutchman can find the recipe to consistently find that form then he could be one to watch for the remainder of the season.
Gabriele Browne (Goya Windsurfing / Point-7) is in his first year back on the PWA World Tour and he’s enjoying a fine event – currently ranked 11th. The Brazilian qualified for the first winners’ final of the day to take home 5th place, while making the semifinals on a further two occasions, but has just a one-point advantage over Finian Maynard (99NoveNove / Gun Sails) – who is very much still in the hunt for successive top 10 finishes.
Last year’s world No.6 – Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic) – suffered a couple of disastrous eliminations to start the event, with a snapped harness line costing him dearly in the second elimination, but since then he has firmly set himself on the road to recovery with 4th, 8th and 12th place finishes in the last 3 races, which sees him rise to 13th. Frans is another sailor, who could massively benefit from the second discard and a top 10 finish is very much on the cards if the wind shows up again tomorrow.
Fellow Bonairean – Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) – who is the freestyle vice-world champion – also enjoyed a fine day as he qualified for three semifinals to show he also possesses some serious skills on the race course. The 21-year-old recorded his first top 10 in a single race – Race 3.
After his best ever result in the last event – Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails) – will be disappointed to find himself down in 18th place, but Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) may be the most disappointed man of all. The 30-year-old won the event in Japan, but finds himself in a lowly 32nd place after becoming involved in a number of tussles and collisions in the five races thus far and realistically there is no-way back for the man from Saint Maarten here in Costa Brava – and he will just have to erase this event from his memory.
The forecast looks excellent for tomorrow with clear skies and moderate southeasterly winds being predicted, which should hopefully provide a Super Sunday finale to the 2017 Catalunya PWA World Cup. The sailors will meet again at 10:30am tomorrow morning for the skippers’ meeting with the action commencing from 11am (GMT+2) onwards. Stay up to date with all of the latest developments from Costa Brava by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com
Current Ranking 2017 Catalunya PWA World Cup – Men’s Slalom
*After 5 Eliminations – 1 Discard
1st Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
2nd Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / LoftSails / Chopper Fins)
3rd Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins)
4th Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde)
5th Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses)
6th Andrea Cucchi (Starboard / Point-7)
7th Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses)
8th Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Chopper Fins)
9th Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui)
10th Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails)
Current Ranking Foil Exhibition Catalunya PWA World Cup –
*After 5 Races – 1 Discard
1st Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
2nd Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui)
3rd Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde)
4th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins)
5th Mateus Isaac (JP / NeilPryde)
6th Maciek Rutkowski (Tabou / GA Sails)
7th Nicolas Goyard (Starboard / Point-7)
8th Malte Reuscher (JP / NeilPryde)
9th Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins)
10th Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne)